28 NOVEMBER 1998

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The Spectator

T he ban on the export of British beef to European Union countries was lifted on the favourable vote of ten EU agriculture minis- ters, with four abstentions and the opposi-...

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SPE II CATOR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL

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Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 EU TAKES OVER G reed is good,' said the corporate raider Michael Douglas in the film Wall Street. Most Continental politicians...

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DAVID WELCH T he Royal Parks were established as hunting forests by Henry VIII, who was more important as an urban planner than he gets credit for — his acquisitions still...

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Battle has begun at last preceded by a good bad-taste joke BRUCE ANDERSON T his Parliamentary session began as it will continue right to the hard-fought end in November next...

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However much Mr Blair and Mr Mandelson ingratiate themselves with the rich, says Peter Oborne, the rest of the Cabinet want no part of it WHEN the Labour party secured power...

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Second opinion

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'GREAT is the truth,' said Billy Bunter, translating from the Latin, 'and it will prevail a bit.' He was being unduly optimistic, of course. There is no reason at all why the...

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Andrew Dickson contributes another instalment in the stoiy of Harold Wilson, the colonel and the prostitute COLONEL (later Lord) Wigg may not have been guilty of soliciting...

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Anti-Semitism may have been behind the murder of a Russian politician, says Mark Webster St Petersburg THE FACE in the open coffin was that of a mild-mannered but redoubtable...

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Mind your language

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ON the television the other day Anthony Holden was talking about a royal spokesman being 'economical with the truth'. He meant that the spokesman was lying, and he was perhaps...

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Karen Robinson complains that people no longer have the manners to RSVP I RECENTLY invited my friends to a birthday party. Not a milestone 'big-O' occasion, admittedly, but as...

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Italy, by refusing to extradite a Kurdish terrorist to Turkey, has THE LIBERAL elite says that General Augusto Pinochet is evil. But the same People take a quite different...

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Edward Heathcoat Amory asks why the City has become so keen to help London's strip clubs IT SHOULD come as no surprise that the City of London is helping to sell sex. The...

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While celebrating Thanksgiving, Mark Steyn concludes that the Old World still has much to learn from the New New Hampshire IT IS 'THANKSGIVING, and I am up to my neck in turkey,...

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Jonathan Mirsky on why even liberal Chinese will never surrender Tibet WHEN the Dalai Lama visited Hilary Clinton last week in the White House Map Room, President Clinton...


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How to save yourself 51 trips to the library . . . or over £48 on The Spectator If you're forced to share The Spectator with fellow students, then you'll know how difficult it...

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Lord Irvine's department, Melanie Phillips argues, has suppressed evidence that shows why the new divorce legislation will not work THE LORD Chancellor may not realise it, but...

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Our Premier, says Frederick Forsyth, is displaying alarmingly German characteristics I WONDER how many of your readers have realised that all the anomalies in Tony Blair are...

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Planes are for convenience, but ships and trains are for delight PAUL JOHNSON A s I write this, I am about to leave for a flight to Buenos Aires. The older I get, the more...

Classifieds —pages 84-86

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For that much money. . .

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WE shall now observe a moment of silence, to mark the plight of some of Britain's best- paid businessmen. (Sssh. Thank you.) Colin Sharman explains why 114 of them put their...

Someone else's baby

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'MY LORDS, bye-bye, and Members of the House of Commons, my government Will continue with economic policies designed to build stability. Productivity will be improved by...


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IT HAS been no pleasure to watch BTR, the house that Owen Green built, falling down. Now it has fallen to a cut-price bid from Siebe, but what a target it would have made for...

. . . they should worry

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STILL, people like him yearn to shorten their worry lists. Booking a place in the euro will help them, they imagine. Many of them and their companies wanted the govern- ment of...

Fish and chips

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THE WORST news from the City all yea r , comes from Leadenhall Market, where I find the shutters down at Ashdowns. market itself, with its red and gold Victoue an ironwork and...


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A bid for the Lord Mayor's bank needs a touch of Mansion House polish CHRISTOPHER FILDES I t is something new when the Lord Mayor of London is on the receiving end of a...

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Parliamentarian of the year: the winners THE F1FIEENTH annual Highland Park/Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards were presented on Wednesday by John Prescott, Deputy...

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LETTERS Scottish self-interest

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Sir: Mr Bruce Anderson once tellingly observed that the government's policy on devolution was, 'Act first; think second — if at all.' It would seem, from The Spectator! Zurich...

Wilson and Wigg

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Sir: Regarding Chapman Pincher's article Mid Wilson frame Wigg?', 14 November), you may care to let your readers have some facts. I am Lord Wigg's executor. There are no...

Blair's benefactors

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Sir: In praising Philip Gould (Books, 14 November), Maurice Saatchi elegantly lauds the role of the marketeer. What's sauce for the advertising goose is sauce for the marketing...

Information overload

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Sir: I was wrong to accuse Edward Heath- coat Amory of 'sloppy journalism' in writ- ing about the Lottery (Letters, 21 Novem- ber). He reveals in his reply that he did actually...

Post-mortem prudence

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Sir: While reading Prudence Greiy's letter (21 November) admonishing you for pub- lishing Graham Turner's article about Diana, Princess of Wales, I felt a momen- tary pang of...

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Unmistakably Gibbons

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Sir: While responding favourably to my Grinling Gibbons exhibition at the V&A (Arts, 14 November), your reviewer has conveyed some misleading impressions. There is no doubt that...

No reply

The Spectator

Sir: Mr David Hopkinson (Letters, 1 4 November) should consider himself lucky. My last two-page letter to the Prime Minis- ter, the main point of which was the sugges- tion that...

Loose estimate

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Sir: I am grateful to Michael Vestey for his kind remarks about the Radio Four pro- gramme, Loose Ends (Arts, 21 November). However, I should record that when his sentence, 'Ned...

Letter of the law

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Sir: Michael Cole says he is left shaken by the thought that Louise Woodward may be allowed to become a solicitor, but is unlike- ly to become a barrister and could not become a...

Late night slip

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Sir: On my return from Spain last week, I was so fatigued by the late nights there — do they ever go to bed, those Spanish? — that I made an embarrassing slip (And another...

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The Spectator

Mr Mandelson frightens newspapers now, but he won't always STEPHEN GLOVER R eaders will be glad to hear that the head of Amanda Plate11, the executive edi- tor of the Express...

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Christmas Books II

The Spectator

Books of the Year A further selection of the best and most overrated books of the year, chosen by some of the Spectator's regular contributors Bevis Hillier A good biographer...

James Delingpole

The Spectator

I'm sorry, I know he's a fine writer, but no way did Ian McEwan deserve to win the Booker with Amsterdam (Cape, £14.99). It's too slight, its attempts at humour often fall...

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Mice Thomson

The Spectator

Every political novel this year seemed to feature MPs embracing oranges and the like with unnatural vigour, including Ian McEwan's Amsterdam (Cape, £14.99) and John Mortimer's...

Raymond Carr

The Spectator

I hate visiting London and immersing myself in a society that reads and thinks about restaurants. Too much like the less attractive periods of the Roman empire. Stephen Inwood's...

Mary Killen

The Spectator

The latest Frances Partridge diaries, Life Regained 1970-72 (Weidenfeld, £18.99), delivered the anticipated goods. Unlike Woodrow Wyatt's, which pander to our baser instincts,...

Michael Tanner

The Spectator

My first choice must be James Baldwin's Collected Essays (The Library of America, $35), which not only includes such classics as 'Nobody Knows My Name' and 'The Fire Next Time',...

Michael Heath

The Spectator

Having a three-year-old girl to read to, I've come across many interesting books this year. Ant and Bee and the Rainbow by Angela Banner (Heinemann, £4.99) has the...

Edward Heathcoat Amory

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Normally, I am a devotee of escapist litera - ture, but this was my year for books about the real world. Julian Barnes's new novel, England, England (Cape, £15.99), dissected...

Andrew Barrow

The Spectator

How I would love to be recommending Mary Killen's wonderful first novel in this slot. Alas, this impatiently awaited book is still unwritten or stuck at Chapter Three. I can...

Matthew Parris

The Spectator

John O'Farrell's Things Can Only Get Better (Transworld, £9.99) is the funniest thing on politics I've read for ages. O'Farrell leaps from the weird and derelict wastelands of...

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Theodore Dalrymple

The Spectator

Dream Lovers by Jacqueline Willcox-Bailey (Wakefield Press, Australian $14.95) is a series of riveting interviews with several Professional and middle-class women in Australia...

Jane Gardam

The Spectator

Coleridge: Darker Reflections by Richard Holmes (HarperCollins, £19.99). Wonder- ful new accounts of, for instance, his rela- tionship with Nelson and the navy. Great empathy...

Peter Jones

The Spectator

In The East Face of Helicon (Oxford, £50), M. L. West, a fellow of All Souls, brings eastern texts (Babylonian, Hittite, biblical etc.) to bear upon Greek language and lit-...

Jonathan Keates

The Spectator

The book which made the biggest impres- sion on me this year was in fact a free, one- off magazine produced by the Italian clothing company Benetton, devoted to the theme of...

Oleg Gordievsky

The Spectator

Without doubt Faust's Metropolis: A History of Berlin by Alexandra Richie (Harper- Collins, £29.99) is a major event in the book world. This unique work on German history is...

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Bruce Anderson

The Spectator

This year, I reread Anna Karenina. That greatest of all works tends to discourage any promiscuous taste for fiction, but this has been a good year for political books. Hugo...

PetroneIla Wyatt

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Exceptional for imagination alone is Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha (Vin- tage, £6.99). Golden places himself in the mind and body of a pre-war apprentice geisha girl...

The best thing since Michelangelo?

The Spectator

Philip Hensher CARAVAGGIO: A LIFE by Helen Langdon Chatto, £25, pp. 436 C aravaggio represents something of a problem to the majority of art historians. Their general instinct...

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The hand of God

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Byron Rogers THE REVENGE OF MIMI QUINN by Shirley Conran Macmillan, £16.99, pp. 560 h ere are three-and-a-quarter pages of acknowledgments, starting with the author's editor...


The Spectator

BookforChnstmas Save .f,2 14.99 (rrp £16.99) Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson From perfectly formed potatoes to adulterous US presidents, and from domestic upsets...

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Various shades of green

The Spectator

Robert Kee THE IRISH WAR: THE MILITARY HISTORY OF A DOMESTIC CONFLICT by Tony Geraghty HatperCollins, £19.99, pp. 404 D ashing journalists - and Tony Ger- aghty was a good one...

Recent paperbacks

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Non-fiction: Soundings by Anita Brookner, Harvill, £9.99 A Short History of Byzantium by John Julius Norwich, Penguin, £14.99 Kosovo by Noel Malcolm, Papermac, £10 Over Here...

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A Cinderella story

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William Buchan THE UGLY ONE: THE CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF HERMIONE COUNTESS OF RANFURLY, 1913-39 Michael Joseph, £12.99, pp. 202 I n a generation of families more close- knit...

Good, bad and ugly

The Spectator

Jane Ridley GEORGE ELIOT: THE LAST VICTORIAN by Kathryn Hughes Fourth Estate, £20, pp. 384 G eorge Eliot's reputation as a writer has never stood higher, but she lacks a...

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A fusion of books and boys

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David Hughes JOHN LEHMANN by Adrian Wright Duckworth, £.20, pp. 308 T o the irritation of my parents, who in 1947 thought their teenage son well enough turned out in utility...

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Living in the continuous present

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Alastair Goodlad TOWN AND COUNTRY edited by Anthony Barnett and Roger Scruton Cape, £12.99, pp. 288 O wn and Count?) , is a collection of 30 essays edited by Anthony...

The other Clark diaries

The Spectator

Antony Rouse THE OSSIE CLARK DIARIES edited by Lady Henrietta Rouse Bloomsbury, £20, pp. 402 0 ssie Clark was a talented clothes designer, famous in the Sixties and Seven-...


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(52 issues) 12 Months 6 Months (26 issues) UK 0 £97.00 01 £49.00 Europe 0 £109.00 U £55.00 USA CI US$161 US$82 Australia U Aus$225 U Aus$113 Rest of World 17 £119.00 0...

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Straining for effect

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Alexander Chancellor NOTES FROM A BIG COUNTRY by Bill Bryson Doubleday, £16.99, pp. 318 B ill Bryson is a native of Des Moines, Iowa, who lived for many years in North...

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The man with the ready handshake

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Frederic Raphael ARAFAT: FROM DEFENDER TO DICTATOR by Said K. Aburish Bloomsbury, £20, pp.360 H ow many people outside the Arab world have any notion that Yasser Arafat speaks...

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The marriage of nations a la mode

The Spectator

Michael Portillo THIS BLESSED PLOT: BRITAIN AND EUROPE FROM CHURCHILL TO BLAIR by Hugo Young Macmillan, £20, pp. 558 A book of this sort needed to be writ- ten, but this is...

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DIARY 1999 114 Plain f15 Initialled The Spectator 1999 Diary, bound in soft red goatskin leather, is now available. Laid out with a whole week to view, Monday to Sunday, the...

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Was it pure genius?

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Jonathan Guinness DARK AND LIGHT: THE STORY OF THE GUINNESS FAMILY by Derek Wilson Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 302 I f anyone is qualified to write a book about the Guinness family...

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The riddle of the sands

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Simon Courtauld LAWRENCE: THE UNCROWNED KING OF ARABIA by Michael Asher Viking £20, pp. 419 T . E. Lawrence was a (probably passive) homosexual, a masochist, a fanta- sist and...

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Having Georgia on my mind for a week

The Spectator

Anne Chisholm I n the mid-1950s, at my sensible and secluded girls' boarding school, there was a sudden craze among the 13- and 14-year- Olds for Margaret Mitchell's glorious...

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Prophet of modernity Nicholas Powell on a bold exhibition which marks the centenary of Mallarmes death T he opening of Stephane Mallarmes poem 'Brise marine' — 'La chair est...

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Exhibitions 1

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The mighty Met Martin Gayford A utumn in New York,' enquires the song, 'why does it seem so inviting?' Well, apart from the various attractions promised by the lyrics —...

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Exhibitions 2

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Craigie Aitchison (Timothy Taylor Gallery, 1 Bruton Place, W1 and Waddington Galleries, 34 Cork Street, Wl, till 19 December) Poet of colour Andrew Lambirth C raigie...

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Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunachs (Hampstead) Best of Times (Vaudeville) Quartet of losers Sheridan Morley .J ,scene largely occupied by very big movie ,...

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The Philadelphia Story (U, selected cinemas) It's a privilege Mark Steyn T he Philadelphia Story would be wel- come anytime, but its reappearance now seems especially apt:...

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Dance Umbrella (Queen Elizabeth Hall) Dramatic tension thannandrea Poem T he most striking aspect of Wind is, in my opinion, the overpowering tension that develops gradually...

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Magisterial sounds Michael Vestey W e were in Venice earlier this month renting, with friends, an imposing high-win- dowed flat on the Fondamenta S. Caterina in the Canerregio...

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Think again, Rupert Edward Heathcoat Amory D aylight, warned Bagehot, 'must not be let in upon the magic'. The family behind the institution must remain, he argued, in the...

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The turf

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Individual approach Robin Oakley A the Epsom veteran Cyril Mitchell used to say, with just a touch of overstate- ment: `Any fool can get a horse fit to run, it's getting them...

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High life

The Spectator

The new class Taki Wilson is getting a worse rap than he 'You spoil that woodworm.' deserves. He was far better than Callaghan — at least he didn't saddle us with his...

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Country life

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Having a ball Leanda de Lisle N ovember is a beautiful month when it's cold and crisp like it is today. The lawns are streaked silver and gold where the shad- ows and the...


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Firm but unfair STOP PRESS ... STOP PRESS ...STOP PRESS The Spectator website has arrived http://www.spectator.co.uk Log on now to discover what's in this week's issue, find...

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Singular life

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Where is Artemis? Petronella Wyatt I imagine they must have guessed from the start that shooting is something with Which I am not entirely familiar, because When they...


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Fabian tactics Andrew Robson THE patient use of her trumps exhibited by East, Charlotte Blofeld, on this week's hand, is worthy of study. North, Sophie Kilpatrick, and South,...

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By Digby Anderson Imperative cooking: the bottom of the barrel LAST MONTH I decided to start the cure again. And so should you. It is partly a mat- ter of the taste: pork...

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Alice Thomson TWO THOUSAND years ago, the Ridge- way path passed through our hamlet of Lit- tle Stoke, along the River Thames, across the fields and into the village of North...

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Double Dutch Raymond Keene EVER SINCE Dr Max Euwe won the world title for Holland in his match a g ainst Alekhine from the 1930s, the Netherlands (somewhat like Iceland) have...


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Improving on Lear Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2061 you were invited to improve on a limerick by Lear, usin g an openin g line of his and carryin g on in your own way. In my...

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GRAHAM'S PORT CROSSWORD A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 14 December, with two run- ners-up prizes of...

Solution to 1387: Brewed

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'A Orli& 1 IIIT s II ME aniefiru MINI o N MON R AMIN I it wsr . orriii Arai 0 li API FlOr1 A91111014E1 N S 7 01116119111301uri p OW E R -um Bronore r dooms on Ale . era . A...

No. 2064: Lucky 13

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The poet John Hollander's 13th book, enti- tled Powers of Thirteen, contained 169 (13 x 13) poems of 13 lines, each having 13 sylla- bles. You are invited to do likewise....

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Test of psychology Simon Barnes I SEEM to have collected a few textbooks on sports psychology over the years. The team must seek to widen and deepen the system by adding more...


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Dear Mary. . . Q. When walking the other day on the Chelsea Embankment I had the temerity to tell a passing cyclist that he was not on a cycleway. He wheeled round and we then...